film review of Dear Mr. Gacy

film note: Dear Mr. Gacy

Dear Mr. Gacy
Directed by Svetozar Ristovski
103 mins, USA, 2010

Originally published on Letterboxd with no likes.

I had a hard time caring about anything that happened in this inert, hard-to-believe story about college student Jason Moss who befriended serial killer John Wayne Gacy in order to get a look into his mind for a school term paper. I don’t know how faithful it is to Moss’ book, The Last Victim, but a couple reviewers on Amazon didn’t find the book credible, either. (The real Moss communicated with a handful of other serial killers, including Charles Manson.)

Moss did meet Gacy a couple weeks before he was executed and that’s really the only fact that can be independently verified — by a photo of the pair taken in the prison. Gacy looked happy; Moss looked suburban. Both the film and the book depict an attempted rape of Moss on the part of Gacy and that’s certainly the point when the film became the hardest to swallow. Most of it seemed like fantasy wish-fulfillment to me.

Moss eventually became a criminal defense attorney with an apparently successful practice. That didn’t prevent him from taking his own life at 31-years-old. That part’s left out of the film, which ends with Gacy’s death.

William Forsythe as Gacy is good (he nailed that Chicago accent) and Jesse Moss (no relation) is, too, but the script is devoid of insight and full of unmotivated and inconsistent behavior from characters to go along with some of the implausible scenarios. In one, a gay male street hustler drugs Moss in a gay bar as he’s trying to get more material for his paper. Right. There’s nothing memorable about the film’s style, either.

Waste of time.

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